life through a feminist lens
I don't see this one as a problem. The ad copy doesn't say anything about getting a tan to impress men, she looks fully in control of the situation and confident, and the men don't look threatening at all. Plus, she's above all of them, so she's the one in power.
I strongly disagree, Unapologestically Mundane. I mean, yeah, there isn't anything *explicitly* stated in the ad that women should buy tanning lotion to impress guys, but I think the fact that all the guys are gazing adoringly after this tanned, conventionally beautiful woman does make the message implicitly clear. I don't necessarily think positioning the woman as upright and above the men was a part on the advertisers to make her look powerful either. Seeing her full body enhances the male gaze. We get the sense that the guys are enjoying the view from the pool the way they lean over the sides; we get the sense that the woman, from her gait and smile, either enjoys the leering or she is unaware of it.I would also argue that just because the guys don't "look" threatening doesn't mean much. I mean, should they be in hockey masks or wielding weapons? I guess they could be drooling or smirking more cruelly, but I think those overt symbols of guy' sexualization of women's bodies are transformations that exist in our time because the tamer ones used in ads like this one paved the path. I don't think you implied this in your comment, but just to be clear there isn't a physical way of distinguishing a rapist or sexual aggressor from a "nice, clean guy." The fact that the guys have the rosy cheeks and innocent dimples in this ad may only reinforce the myth that it's easy for women to tell aggressors from the "good" guys. Sorry to dump on you, but I really did feel like your cultural analysis was a little limited...
No, I'm really pumped about your response, because literally all of the feminist information I have has been from Tracey (my best friend) in the past couple of years, so I still have a very limited understanding of how much I've been taught to ignore the signs of gender inequality. Everything you said makes sense to me, although I still find it hard to read that far into that particular ad. In general, I get that most of what are advertised to women as products to make us look better are meant to make us look better for men, but it seems like a lot of the ads Tracey has posted from this era explicitly say that.I also really like that the woman is either enjoying or ignoring the leering (though not if it means she's unsafe). Her confidence makes me think she's proud of her body and her sexuality and would handle her business if one of these men made an advance. In my mind, I'm mostly contrasting this to the ads we see today where men are actually lying on top of women while other men look on, but I can see your point about this leading the way for those modern ads.
"In my mind, I'm mostly contrasting this to the ads we see today where men are actually lying on top of women while other men look on, but I can see your point about this leading the way for those modern ads."Ahhh... I can definitely see your point much better now. :)
I'm more offended at the ad saying that a tan can make you more attractive. Yeah, right now it can - but what about when you start wrinkling prematurely, and then there's that pesky skin cancer... Signed,A Botticellian redhead
Sorry I was totally absent from this conversation, but the comments started coming just as I was finishing finals. Yeah, Dolly pretty much sums up why this ad struck me. Not that the woman isn't necessarily confident or whatever, but because the fact that there are eight men staring at her just for having a tan, really reinforces the idea of the male gaze. Sadly, even though these men don't necessarily look threatening individually, the sheer number of them in relation to this one woman creeped me out, and the fact that it looked like they were swimming over just to see her conjured up images of leering and catcalling.
Post a Comment